7 Nov 2022

Westpac profit rises 12% to top $1b

12:00 pm on 7 November 2022
Westpac Bank logo

Photo: 123rf

Westpac New Zealand made a billion-dollar full year profit, boosted by strong revenue growth and the sale of Westpac Life.

Key numbers for the 12 months ended September compared with a year ago:

  • Net profit $1.05b vs $931m up 12%
  • Revenue $2.71b vs $2.46b up 10%
  • Cash earnings $1.17b vs $1.01b up 15%
  • Impairment $27m vs $84m down 68%
  • Net interest margin 2% vs 2% unchanged

Chief executive Catherine McGrath said the result put the bank in a strong position to support customers, amid an uncertain economic environment.

"After a year of market volatility and rising living costs, many New Zealanders will be feeling uncertain about the future. We want our customers to know our bankers are here to offer help and solutions."

Westpac NZ's cash earnings were up 15 percent for the 12 months ended 30 September 2022, compared with the same period last year, but down 2 percent when one-time items were excluded, such as a $126 million gain on the sale of Westpac Life.

McGrath said Westpac had good positive momentum.

"This has translated into good growth in mortgage and business lending market share in the past six months."

Total customer deposits rose 3 percent to $77.9m, when total net loans rose 5 percent to $96.8m.

Home lending grew by 5 percent and business lending by 4 percent.

"We've grown our market share in the second half of the year across home and business lending, giving us strong momentum as we go into the new financial year," McGrath said.

"While the rise in interest rates has coincided with a retreat in house prices, recent home buyers who have bought for the long term shouldn't be worried about the current value of their property."

Funds under management in the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme fell 3 percent to $8.9b as at 30 September, compared with the year earlier as a result of volatility in financial markets.

However, McGrath said it was still a big year for its KiwiSaver business, with the transfer of 37,000 KiwiSaver members to its default balanced fund, following its reappointment as one of six default providers.

The bank's operating expenses rose 2 percent to $1.16 billion over the year, including a 5 percent increase of $30m in the second half, primarily spent on regulatory, risk and compliance spending, increased investment in technology resilience, cyber security and data capability, as well the taking on of an additional 269 staff.

McGrath said New Zealand's economy was well-positioned to deal with market volatility and a worsening global economic outlook compared with other countries.

"Commodity prices are holding firm, exporters are being assisted by the subdued New Zealand dollar, and hospitality businesses will be pleased tourists are beginning to return," she said.

"Inflation remains a concern, however our economists think that the rate of increase has peaked, and the accumulated effect of higher interest rates will gradually bring it down over the next couple of years."

Westpac's Australian parent Westpac Group's full year net profit rose 4 percent to A$5.69b

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